How can I best prepare for an open-water race if I don’t have access to open water?

Open-water sessions are an ideal way to prepare for open water races (triathlons and swim marathons). However, there are many swimmers who might not be able to do this for various reasons. Do not fear it that is you. If you have access to a pool, you can still prepare very well and have a successful swim on race day.

Include longer swimming sets in your practices. It is important to swim several times the distance that you will complete during your race. Keep in mind that during you swimming pool swim you have extra rest on the wall. That is why, during practice you could also extend the distance that you will complete during your race. You could also train open-water turns or lifting your head for better sighting during your race (Tarzan drill – swimming with your head up).

Overall, even in the pool you could familiarize yourself with the conditions that you will have during the open-water race. If you add some creativity you could achieve wonders.

Good Luck

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90 % of Learn to Swim is by Visual Cues

Communication experts tell us that over 90 per cent of all communication is non-verbal. Learn to Swim instructors have to develop a wide range of non-verbal communication skills to help get their message across in noisy teaching environments. Instructors would have to try develop a set of group cues – hand signals to help give swimmers instructions and feedback when verbal communication (voice) can’t do the job. For example instructors :

  • touch their head which could mean “Lift your head up
  • thumbs up sign could could mean “Looks good
  • touch their thigh with both hands which could mean “More kick or faster kick
  • Pointing to instructors’ elbow could mean “Work on your elbows-up position
  • palm spread could mean “Stop there.”

Once instructors develop their cues, they could publish them in their club’s, group’s newsletter, website so that everyone learns them.

That is why we’re creating SwiMMinD, a platform with powerful modules with many visual cues that would further inspire children and adults to swim .

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Efficiency always triumphs over fitness!

In every group, in every swimming club, in every country, anywhere in the world there are “little kids”: young swimmers who are smaller than others their own age, and who often find it frustrating to be the ones who will grow “next season.”

Long-term success will ultimately be determined by technique and skills, attitude and desire.

At senior elite level, where the training methods, aerobic fitness, strenght and other physiological attributes of the top swimmers are relatively similar, success wil be determined by factors that are not related to growth. All swimmers, regardless of size, strenght height or other physical characteristics, can learn to swim and improve technique and skills.

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Do young swimmers need strength training?

The coach is the best judge of appropriate training strategies. As with all training, strength training should start with the basics: good technique, control and safety. When people think about strength training they usually think about people with excessive muscular development. However, strength training is not just throwing huge stacks of weights around. Strength training can be exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, chins, dips, jumps, hops, skips, climbing ropes, using swim rubbers/bands and throwing medicine balls.

There are several myths about strength training:

  • Strength training is unsuitable for females.
  • Strength training should not be started until late teens.
  • Strength training decreases flexibility.
  • Strength training slows you down.

These myths are not founded in any scientific truth or logic. Strength training is a great supplement to specific sports training and, used in addition to a sound, well structured training program, can help swimmers achieve their best.

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Do swimmers need to eat special foods or follow a special diet?

  • Before training, young swimmers should eat a light meal such as fruit, bread or a light cereal – particularly before morning training, when their body has not been recharged for 8-10 hours. If they don’t feel like eating, suggest they try drinking juice or a sports drink. Many people don’t feel like eating early in the morning and it can take time to get used to.
  • During training, rehydration is the number-one priority, and water is the number-one rehydrator.
  • Immediately after training, the body is very receptive to the replacement of energy. Eating or drinking a carbohydrate fuel source that is readily broken down and rapidly absorbed is very important. Sports drinks may have a role to play in the rapid placement of muscle energy. Similarly fruit, fruit-based snack packs and fruit puree may also assist in rapid energy replacement.
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